Kerr (not) coaching
In the final analysis, Dudley’s right. The Suns wouldn’t have been patsies for Kerr were they simply better on the court. “Maybe right now, we don’t deserve respect. When you keep getting beat[en] by 40, teams won’t respect you.” Which is why it won’t hap
It’s easy to see why the Suns balked at the idea of Warriors head coach Steve Kerr handing over his clipboard to his players for the duration of their match the other day. For all their lack of competitiveness, they have pride, and the sight of the opponents taking turns on the hot seat while playing them no doubt gnawed at it. To them, the implication was clear: They aren’t good enough to be taken seriously, so much so that even those with absolutely no experience whatsoever can do what’s supposed to be the most difficult job in the sport.
For the record, Kerr informed counterpart Jay Triano that he was going to make the unprecedented move because, as he explained in the aftermath, “I have not reached them for the last month. They’re tired of my voice.” Nonetheless, the Suns didn’t appreciate the development, with veteran Jared Dudley arguing it reflected “a lack of respect for an opponent” and guard Troy Daniels taking the opportunity to throw shade at the 2016 National Basketball Association Coach of the Year. “I don’t think it’s hard to coach those guys. I think anybody can do it.”
Regardless, what Kerr termed an “experiment” worked. The Warriors found themselves engaged from start to finish. As two-time Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry explained, “It was a collective effort. We were just trying to stay locked in and enjoy the process of getting focused and knowing our sets, being thoughtful about what lineups are out there, what we’re trying to accomplish and execute.” Added general manager Bob Myers, “I thought it was great!”
Needless to say, the Warriors received significant backlash for what numerous quarters deemed to be a “stunt” they wouldn’t pull against better competition. And if Kerr “didn’t have four All- Stars, he wouldn’t be doing that, added the Suns’ 2015 firstround pick Devin Booker. Still, he stuck to his guns, ruing the fact that “whether it’s a controversy or not, it has to become one... [in] the world we live in.” Moreover, he disclosed that he intends to employ the same method again. “It’s a good exercise,” he said, “so I can see [us] doing it again one time, a couple of times.”
In the final analysis, Dudley’s right. The Suns wouldn’t have been patsies for Kerr were they simply better on the court. “Maybe right now, we don’t deserve respect. When you keep getting beat[en] by 40, teams won’t respect you.” Which is why it won’t happen anytime soon, and why other bench tacticians can make light of it in retrospect. It may or may not be a show of arrogance, but unless and until the Warriors are knocked off their
perch, they should be free to employ it as they wish.